Nourishing Farm Food {GAPS Diet-Stage One}

I’ve known that an elimination diet was in my future for a while.  The last two years have been by far the most stressful of our lives and I think that I’ve basically been running on adrenaline most of the time.  As things begin to slow down a bit and we are able to start a routine (I use that word lightly) I find myself recognizing the health issues that I’ve picked up. Unable to lose weight, lethargic, loss of appetite followed by feeling ravenous, cold sores, ringing and pain in right ear, pain in lymph nodes on right side of neck, confused and light headed.

I considered starting with a candida cleanse which Nathan and I have had a lot of success with in the past.  We both have symptoms of being pre-diabetic and after Nathan’s mom was diagnosed with liver disease two years ago we were even more determined to take control of our health.  But life happens and sometimes you just get off track.  That’s why I’ve decided to go back to stage one of the GAPS diet.  I had tremendous success healing Lilah’s autism diagnosis, hair loss, and digestive issues as well as healing my autoimmune disorder in the past.  We worked carefully under our medical team at Cool Springs Family Medicine in TN and feel confident that we’ll see the same success on our lesser issues this time.  It’s a lot of work and takes some preparation, but I realize that it’s worth the investment of my time.

I’ll be doing State one of GAPS by myself this time, but my family will reap the benefits of eating several of the meals with me throughout the week.  The bone broth alone can be just the thing to cure tummy issues which Nathan, Carter and Elizabeth have been complaining of since we got off track.  One of the reasons why I was so attracted to local food as our main food source was because of the success we experienced with GAPS.  All of the foods on the diet are available locally, from our own farm and from farmers that we know.

These are the foods that I will be eating on stage one:

-Pastured or Wild Caught Meat & Fish
-Well cooked vegetables:  broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, leeks, winter and summer squash
-Bone Broth, Stocks (at every meal and in between meals)
-Sea Salt
-Garlic (I add freshly minced garlic at the end or before re-heating)
-Sauerkraut Juice
-Lots of Distilled Water

Five years after I was introduced to the GAPS diet I realize that a lot of my autoimmune symptoms may be directly linked to the fact that I was born by cesarean, formula fed and remained isolated in a sterile environment for the first weeks of life and beyond.  In addition, my diet growing up and in the early years of adulthood was full of processed, sugary foods.  The GAPS diet allows my body to rest, reboot and prepare for the next stage of life!

While I realize that any elimination diet is full of ups and downs and that there will be days when I want something else to eat I’m thankful for how well my body responds to these pure, simple foods.  It also allows me to spend less time thinking about what I will eat (or not eat) and more time focusing on what is really important.  Here are a few of the ways I plan to spend my time more effectively:

-Working on a new homeschool curriculum that fits our lifestyle and each childs personal needs.
-Working through faith, hope, patience as we continue looking for a farm.  Journaling.
-Running, Yoga
-More focused time online.  Unplugging for most of the day.
-Preparing more nutritious foods for my family.

I’ll be on stage one somewhere between 10 days and 4 weeks depending on how well my body responds.  Most likely it will be closer to 4 weeks.  I’ll be adding in some green juices from Zest-Juice for Life (heated before drinking) when I feel light headed or show other symptoms that my blood sugar is dropping.  This did become an issue for me last time due to the low carbs in stage one.  Peeled and cooked apples can also bring your blood sugar back up, but I’ll only use them if I really need them.  I’ll do my best to check back in and discuss my progress and particularly how I move into stage two.